Eastgate Woodlands/Whilamut Natural Area

Address: 512 Aspen St.
Hours: 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

The Eastgate Woodlands are part of the Whilamut Natural Area which extends west to Eugene and Alton Baker Park. It’s a great place to enjoy a natural area with woodlands and riparian areas along the Willamette River. Hike along gravel trails through the woods to the river, or cycle along the paved trail that connects Springfield to Eugene along the north bank of the river. There is a boat ramp and small gravel parking lot.

Park Amenities:
  • 40 acres
  • Bike path
  • Fishing
  • Jogging path
  • Natural area
  • Parking
  • Viewpoint
Download a high-resolution pdf of this map

Whilamut Natural Area

The name Whilamut (pronounced "wheel-a-moot) was chosen in collaboration with the Komemma Cultural Protection Association of the Kalapuya Tribe. Whilamut is a Kalapuya word which means "where the river ripples and runs fast." The Citizen Planning Committee initiated the renaming of the park, and selected a Kalapuya name as a gesture of honor and respect for the tribal members who hunted, fished, and gathered camas bulbs on the land that is now the Whilamut Natural Area. A traditional Kalapuya naming ceremony was held to commemorate the new name on September 7, 2002.

Talking Stones

Through a collaborative effort between the CPC, City of Eugene Parks and Open Space Division, and the Willamalane Parks and Recreation District, 11 basalt boulders with Kalapuya word engravings were installed in both the Eugene and Springfield portions of the natural area in the spring of 2003. The final four stones were installed in 2013 during replacement of the Willamette River I-5 Bridge, officially titled the Whilamut Passage Bridge. The stones are each carved with a Kalapuya word and the English translation. For example, the Kalapuyan word "Whilamut" is translated into English as "where the river ripples and runs fast."
The purpose of the project is to provide a historical appreciation of the first inhabitants of this area. Kalapuya Elder Esther Stutzman and the Kommema Cultural Protection Association consulted on the project to determine names and appropriate stone locations. The project also provides a link between Eugene and Springfield, which share this riverfront parkland.

Download a map and brochure about the Talking Stones.

Pre's Trail

Pre's Trail is a running and walking trail that connects to both Eugene and Springfield created in 1975 honoring track star Steve Prefontaine. The Eugene portion of Pre's Trail was designated as a historic landmark in 2019. It is a beloved destination for local runners and walkers and draws visitors from across the country and around the world.

Download a map and information about Steve Prefontaine.

Volunteers Needed for Citizen Planning Committee

Volunteers from Springfield are needed to serve on a citizen planning committee that helps monitor the long-range plan for the Whilamut Natural Area of Alton Baker Park, a 237-acre urban greenway connecting Eugene and Springfield.

Willamalane Park and Recreation District manages Eastgate Woodlands, which is the eastern portion of the Whilamut Natural Area.

Members serve three-year terms. The full committee meets four times a year. For more information contact Fraser MacDonald at 541-736-4051.

About the Citizen Planning Committee

The Citizen Planning Committee (CPC) for the Whilamut Natural Area of Alton Baker Park, formerly known as the East Alton Baker Park Citizen Planning Committee, was formed as a result of an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Eugene, the City of Springfield, Willamalane Park and Recreation District, and Lane County.
The agreement, which took effect in 1993, transferred ownership of the 237 acre East Alton Baker Park from Lane County to the jurisdictions of the City of Eugene and Willamalane Park and Recreation District. The agreement specified that the Eugene City Council and the Willamalane District Board of Directors jointly appoint a 15 member citizen planning committee with the charge of developing a plan to determine an appropriate mix of passive recreational uses for East Alton Baker Park. 

Reflecting Community Values

The intent of this agreement was to reflect the will of the citizens of Lane County when they passed ballot measure 20-01 in 1992. The measure halted plans for the development of a golf course on the property and called for the preservation of East Alton Baker Park and the formation of a Citizen Planning Committee. The CPC, in conjunction with City of Eugene and Willamalane staff, completed the East Alton Baker Park Plan in 1995 and forwarded it to the Eugene City Council and Willamalane Board of Directors. A revised plan was approved by both bodies in 1996.

The Committee

The CPC continues to meet four times per year and is active in between meetings working on sub-committee projects. The committee’s scope of work includes monitoring city-initiated restoration and park improvement activities; coordinating committee-sponsored volunteer projects; and promoting the Whilamut Natural Area to the community as a valuable open space asset. The CPC proposed to change the name of the Park to “Whilamut Natural Area of Alton Baker Park” in August of 2001. In February, 2002, the name was officially amended by an administrative order signed by the city manager. Although no action has been taken to formally rename the committee, the committee voted in July 2002 to call themselves the “Citizen Planning Committee for the Whilamut Natural Area of Alton Baker Park.”

Committee members are appointed by the City Council and serve a three-year term. For information on serving on the committee, contact Jesse Cary-Hobbs, or visit the Boards and Commissions web page to download an application.
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